Tag Archive for California

This Family Had a Moment – One Year Ago.

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In honor of Miss Madison’s first birthday over the weekend, I wanted to share my story of how our family learned of her arrival here on planet earth.

Have you ever been together with your family and experienced some news together, collectively?  One of those moments when you all look at each other, and you know in your heart of hearts that you are experiencing a moment together, that you will all remember, and talk about for years to come.

My family had this experience just a little over a year ago now.  We were having dinner together on a Saturday night, actually it was an early Thanksgiving dinner for us.  My sister and her husband had planned to be with us for dinner on this particular night.  Unfortunately their plans had changed and they could not join us on this special occasion.

The other event taking place on this particular day was that my oldest daughter had gone into the hospital early on this Saturday morning to have her labor induced.  Remember awhile ago when I shared with all of you that Evan would be a big brother soon?   Well, this was the day.  Evan spent the night with us on Friday night, and his parents checked into the hospital early the next morning.

All day long we’re checking in with my son-in-law at the hospital getting updates on how Naomi was doing.  I’m sure we pestered him a little too much, but he graciously kept us informed all day long.

In the early afternoon the family members started to arrive, and we were preparing dinner, and getting the table set.  Our family loves to gather around my kitchen counter for all of the snacks and noshing.  It’s always a fun-filled time of eating and conversation.  Lots and lots and lots of conversation.  All in all I think we ended up with 12 of us or so at the dinner table that night.  And in between all of the conversing and eating we are still getting updates on my daughters progress from her husband, Brad.  At one point during dinnertime Brad had sent me a text that the baby would be delivered at 8:00pm.  So, we’re all thinking great!  The baby will be here tonight, and then Naomi will be a lot more comfortable.  She was quite uncomfortable during the last week of her pregnancy, and her mother needed to know that she was just a little bit more comfortable.  It’s a Mom thing.

So after our great turkey dinner we’re sitting around the table – some us drinking coffee, some having wine, some getting ready for pie.  And if I remember correctly this is how our moment happened.  I was on the house phone with my sister in Montana, who could not be with us.  We were giving her an update on Naomi.  My brother’s girlfriend, Elaine, looked at the clock and said, “Hey it’s 8 o’clock, I wonder if the baby’s arrived yet?”  My brother was looking at something on my cell phone, and we got a photo message from “Brad Dad”. It was a picture of the nursery scale with the babies weight, 9lbs. 15oz.  No words with the picture, just that cute little picture.  In that moment we all looked at each other, and I say to my brother, “Is the baby really here?  Text him back and find out!!”  We get the confirmation that it is indeed the babies’ weight, and she has arrived!  the moment we have all been anxiously awaiting.  The entire household is just elated, collectively, all in that same cherished moment.  Miss Madison Kay has arrived.  Woops, hollers, and woots reverberate through the house.  I’m still on the phone sharing this joyful moment with my sister.  My Dad is on the phone with my grandparents, Madison’s great-great-grandparents, and we are all sharing this moment.  From California to Montana to Illinois a poignant family moment.

And I remember Evan.  He was so cute.  He went running through the house cheering for his Mom and Dad.  He was an excited big brother.  As I am typing this right now I can picture this entire moment in my head.  This moment hung in the air for just a bit.  It reminded me of watching a feather float around in the sky.  Watching everyone, and seeing everyone’s reactions.  And my Mom, she had her own precious moment.  She was sitting at the table soaking everything in, and the emotions just overwhelmed her and she started to cry.  Travel Man came and got me and said, “You need to go and sit with your Mom.”  I sat with my Mom, we had a mother – daughter moment.  The day could not have ended more splendidly.

Madison meets her Great-Grandparents

Madison meets her Great-Grandparents

There are always moments in your life that become part of  your personal history, or your family’s history.  But nothing compares to having a family moment, surrounded by almost the entire family.  Savor these precious moments, cherish them, and keep them close to your heart.

This post has been linked to the GRAND Social linky

A Lovely Backyard Wedding

 IMG_0026What does it take to throw a backyard wedding?  First and foremost is a big backyard, which we have. Check that one-off of the list.  Then the bride and groom have to be willing to pitch in and get the backyard ready for a wedding.  Check, we have that.  Then we limit the guests to no more than 70 people.  How do we know this is a good number you ask? We’ve had lots of parties and lots of people in our backyard, and this is the number that works and is controllable.

The remaining major supplies to get our backyard ready for a wedding went like this-  Over 20 strings of white lights, 350 ft. of speaker wire for the PA system and the music,  around 20 poles for the lights to be strung up on (this was for the Mama Mia effect!), an amazing misting system (put together by our favorite uncle), a newly painted deck for dancing the night away on, rented tables, chairs, and table clothes, lovely centerpieces crafted by the bride, lots of big bags of ice, and lots of helpers to get it all set up on time.  Plus we were really hopeful the weather would cooperate, which it did.

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2013-08-25 15.12.39Our youngest son got married in our backyard towards the end of August, and due to the nature of our “stressful” summer there were a lot of plans that just ended up being put together at the last-minute.  This was a 5pm wedding, and my son’s vision was to have the backyard lit up with white lights for a truly memorable evening, once the sun went down, and I think we pulled it off.  We had around 65 guests (that’s my closest guesstimate), in our backyard.  A party this size has not happened since the ladies of ZTA (Kappa Theta chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha) graced our backyard, as we were the host of their annual Bid Day  (there were around 70 giggly, gaggling girls in attendance that day!).

The weather was not too hot, which we were all thankful for. The temps stayed somewhere in the 90’s, and cooled off quickly after the sun went down.   The California summer heat swooped in the weekend after the wedding.  I think it was around 105, the Saturday after!

The wedding ceremony was performed flawlessly, everyone looked so wonderful, and then it was time to party.  We had an amazing caterer who brought in Mexican food, some of which was cooked on the grill right before our very eyes.  This was a great set-up and the food was spectacular.  Drinks were kept simple; just soda, beer and wine.  A cake was brought in by a friend of the bride (it was delicious!).

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And then it was time for the dancing.  My most memorable moments from the dancing were watching my baby boy (he won’t like that I called him that) dance with his Grandma, and seeing the daughters dancing with their dads.  Of course,  the first dance by the bride and groom was memorable too.  Such a cute couple.  My favorite dance of the night was our deck filled with party-goers dancing to “The Macarena”!!  That was fun!

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This was definitely a ceremony/party to remember.  One for the ages so to speak.  I loved the toasts that were given from the heart.  I loved the fact that almost all of our family got to be here with us to celebrate this special occasion.  I loved the fact that all of my kids were so helpful on “The Day”, and made everything fall into place for their baby brother. And our backyard wedding would not have been complete without this amazing ring-bearer.  He carried the rings in his pants pocket, and was so grown-up and handsome when it came time to pass the rings to the groom.  He made his Grandma’s proud.

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Congratulations to Brookelynne and Zachary.  May all of your dreams come true.

14148_301855763290495_708671988_nPicture credits for this post go to: Erica B., Elaine Z., Naomi D., Hilary J., and Mary W. – Thanks Ladies!!

Happy Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day.  And I want to wish a happy Mother’s Day to all of you Mom’s and Grandma’s out there.  I want to send an extra special package of love to my Grandma, my Mom, and my daughter Naomi.  All important Mom’s in our family circle.

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This post is all about when Naomi was born.  The pictures shown above were taken the first time Naomi met her Grandma Joan (Marma), and her Great-Grandma Nehls.  Naomi was about two weeks old.  We were living in Wisconsin at the time, and my parents travelled from California to see their newly born granddaughter (the first grandchild), and my Grandma came up to visit us from Illinois too.  Naomi was also the first great-grandchild in the family.  What a special, special memory.

That same weekend this five generation picture was taken.  We’re so lucky to have this memory.1-811017

From left to right this is my Great-Grandpa Quist, and myself holding Naomi. Standing behind us is my Grandma, and my Mom.  I love this picture.   It is a treasure.

I recently found this poem my Grandma penned to my Mom the day after Naomi was born.  It is such a sweet sentiment on becoming a Grandma I wanted to share it with you all.

On Being A Grandparent

Dear Joan,

I’m glad you were able

To sit at our table

Tho’ Lord knows the time was too short.

And while sleep we were lacking

T’was more fun just yakking

And sharing a generous snort.

 

I know it’s a trauma

For you to be gramma

As for me—at long last I am Great.

And I’m sure you’ll adjust

As all Grandparents must

For it’s really a wonderful fate.

 

When Renee gets to show me

Her precious Naomi

My pleasure will be overflowing

And I’m glad I will be there

When you and Jim see her

For I’m sure that you both will be glowing

 

I called Bobbi and Mother

But not any other.

Remember you told Dad you’d call

I know he’ll expect it

If you recollect it

Is really a first for us all.

 

I hope Grandma Nehls

Reconsiders, and feels

That the trip would be too long and taxing.

If she goes, I will drive

And I guess I’ll survive

But to ride with you would be relaxing.

 

I’ve written Loretta

And I hope they will get a

Day off and bring Dad as per plan.

Other wise I’ll be going

(Lord, I hope it’s not snowing)

To White Lake to get the old man.

 

So at this point it’s iffy.

Let me know in a jiffy

When your plans are all made and you’re due.

And I’ll have to see

Who is going with me

Or if I can ride up with you.

 

I’m glad that your visit

Was really exquisite.

Your reunion was joyous and hearty.

But it’s really outrageous

That girls of your ages

Indulge in a big slumber party

Now I’ve done what I said

With this rhyme you’ve just read

And I hope that you found it amusing.

But if I tried much more verse

It could only get worse

I’m afraid you would find it abusing.

 

With love,

Mom (and Harry)

Anne L. Nehls

On the birth of Naomi Carolyn

 This post has been linked to the GRAND Social linky

The Travel is Becoming Commonplace-

1-IMG_0692I did not think this would happen to me, but it seems that Travel Man’s hectic, crazy travel schedule is becoming commonplace for me.  Is it because I am more accepting of his crazy schedule?  Is it because I have come to expect his travels to be randomly scheduled?  Or is it because I am finally able to accept the travel/work schedule as our “normal”?  I’ve been asking myself these questions over the past few weeks.

On one hand I feel slightly worried about letting the “normal” become too commonplace for myself.  On the other hand it is a good thing for me to be more accepting of the situation, because I am actually able to be relaxed when my husband tells me he’s going to Bangkok, or Brazil, or a rather remote location in Canada.

This is probably a good place to give you all a little back story about Travel Man’s job.  I don’t think I have ever explained why he travels so much.  My Travel Man is a Field Service Technician for a company called F.R. Drake, based in Virginia.  Drake manufactures the machines that orient and load the hot dogs into the packages that we all buy in our local grocery stores.  Their machine is a small portion of the entire hot dog/sausage making process, but it is also a very necessary one.  When Travel Man is out on assignment he is either installing new equipment for a production line, retrofitting a machine, or fixing a problem with a machine.  He works out of our house here in California, but can be dispatched anywhere in the world.  His first assignment with Drake,  almost two years ago now, took him to South Africa.

Now, back to my story- When Travel Man initially took this position I stressed and worried about him being in so many places, and on back to back assignments.  It was particularly stressful for me when he travelled out of the country.  What would I do if he got sick, or something happened to him, and I could not get there?  I don’t have a passport yet.  I’m getting one this year, it’s at the top of my to-do list.

Then something strange happened to me this week.  When I took my Travel Man to the airport this past Monday morning I said to myself, “Hey I’m dropping my husband off at work.”  I’ve never really thought this to myself before.  His mode of commuting to and from work just happens to be an airplane.  And it’s not like he owns an airplane or anything, it just happens to be his mode of transportation!

What has been amazing this week is from the moment that I had this revelation a sense of calm came over me that is difficult to describe.   I felt less stressed, a teeny-weeny bit less worried (because I’m a worrier by trade), and a whole lot more accepting of this situation.  Previous to this week I always knew that this is what my husband needed to do to make a living, but I would always resist and stress at the notion that he had to travel about 80-85% out of the month.  Now, I am finally able to accept our “normal”.

My hope with my newly found revelation is that it will allow me to be the most supportive “Road Warrior” wifey that I can be.  That I won’t feel so lonely if I’m home by myself a little bit more.  It’s quite easy to have a little pity party for yourself when you’re all alone.  And most of all that I am able to easily and whole-heartedly let my Travel Man know that he is my hero for what he does, and the way that he works to take care of our family.

On the Road with Travel Man

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Our first flight at 30,000 ft.- somewhere over the Midwest.

This past week has been quite a week.  I have been on the road with my Travel Guy while he has been working. How did this happen you ask?  Well, the stars were aligned, the timing was just right, the destinations were workable, and there was an opportunity for me to say, yes I would like to go with you. So I did.

This trip has been a whirlwind of travel for me, totally the norm for Travel Man.  We left California last Tuesday morning for our first destination; Quincy, MI.  We flew into Chicago’s Midway Airport, and drove to our Michigan location.  Travel Man worked there for two days, and then on Friday we headed to Demopolis, Alabama via Chicago, again. He worked the weekend on his second assignment  in Alabama, and then we headed for home yesterday morning.  That is a story all on its own.

It has been quite a while since I travelled out on a job assignment with my hubby, and it just reminds me of how unique his work-a-day world is.  He really does not live in the Monday through Friday world at all.  He lives in the job assignment to job assignment world.  Many of his assignments require him to travel over the weekend, so his Monday’s and Friday’s come and go with little or no fanfare.  Not a lot of TGIF’s in his work world.

Now, I realize that the “Road Warrior” schedule is not for everyone, but my Travel Guy, he just puts his nose to the grindstone and gets the job done.  He does not always get to sleep in.  He is not always able to be home for Sunday breakfasts and the like, but this is his job.  It’s what he does, it’s how he rolls, and how we pay the bills.

We had some crazy weather while we were in Michigan.  We saw lots of lightning, heard some awesome thunder, and on our way back to the airport on Friday there were a few snow flurries.  Isn’t this April already?  What happened to Springtime?

We, or I should say I,  had some serious issues on Friday figuring out what time zone we were in.  I was insistent that we would be on East Coast time in Alabama, Travel Man was not convinced.  Thank goodness for the automatic updates on the cell phones. I totally relied on my cell phone for that update, and readily admitted I was wrong.   We were on Central time.

Now that I have experienced this work-a-day travel first hand again, it is much easier for me to relate to the fact that my guy can feel like a total zombie when he gets home.   And it usually takes a few days for him to feel “normal” again.   The time changes can really mess with your brain and your body clock.

All in all this has been somewhat of a relaxing time for both of us.  We have gotten to spend some much-needed time together, gotten caught up on some missed conversations, and gotten to eat more than a few meals together.  Over the next week I will have a few adventures and tales to share with all of you about my week on the road.  Stay tuned for more of my tales,  “On the Road with Travel Man”.

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